Increases in personal income from degree attainment


1) Public Use Micro-data Sample (PUMS) of the American Community Survey (ACS)
Median earnings for those reporting earnings for the population 25-64 reported by educational level.

Disaggregation: Race/Ethnicity, gender, geographical area

Additional reporting may be included by linking EMSAS data with state wage records
maintained by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) using Social Security Number (SSN). (Missouri may be able to access wage records from Kansas and Illinois as well)

Median income for prior academic year completers at public institutions reported at all award levels.

Disaggregation: Academic Area (2/4 digit CIP code)


Educational Award levels :
Less than High School Graduate
High School Graduate (Includes Equivalency)
Post-Secondary Certificate (EMSAS/DOLIR data only)
Associate’s Degree
Bachelor's degree
Graduate or Professional Degree

Median: This measure represents the middle value (if n is odd) or the average of the two middle values (if n is even) in an ordered list of data values. The median divides the total frequency distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases fall below the median and one-half of the cases exceed the median.

Earnings: Earnings is defined as the algebraic sum of wage or salary income and net income from self-employment. Earnings represent the amount of income received regularly before deductions for personal income taxes, Social Security, bond purchases, union dues, Medicare deductions, etc. Only those reporting some earnings in the prior year are included (ACS)

Geographical Region


Public Use Microdata Sample-American Community Survey, EMSAS, DOLIR wage records

Limitations and Issues:

- Primary method would not currently account for differences in program of study, although the Census Bureau is planning to add questions addressing this to the ACS in future years.
- Primary method would not facilitate longitudinal study of the impact of degree attainment on specific students or groups of students.
- PUMS-ACS method does not exclude those currently enrolled in post-secondary education.
- Alternate method would not provide comparable cross-state and/or national benchmarks.

Add a New Comment
or Sign in as Wikidot user
(will not be published)
- +
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License